Warning: This blog is made to be a parody, and should not be taken seriously in the least.
So there i was, at Egypt Wars waiting for the Hobomancer game to start. I planned to watch dorkness unfold, hoping to capture some moments of gamers being atypical. Weaving my way through the table-sized dioramas made of foam and particle board, i knew i was about to witness something almost unknown to the outside world, and foreign to even the most seasoned tabletop gamers. The banner on the most official-looking table said Rogue Trader, and i knew it had to be Warhammer.
Now, i'm about the furthest thing from an expert in this field, and right about now, i'm relying only on observation and a 12 on a Knowledge (Obscure Gaming Cults) roll...
Warhammer is a bizarre variant of traditional war-gaming, stemming from Gygax' early pre-D&D exploits. A little less Napoleon, a little more science fiction goes into this particular game... There also appears to be a computer version, and an online variant, but i've not made the connection for one specific reason: The general concensus on Warhammer is that it's really f**kin' expensive. Now, i could go ask the The Stronghold Ogres, our cyber chapter of Warhammer players, but those guys have such intimidating screen names that i've never considered approaching them with my questions to be a good idea. Online Warhammer cannot be nearly as expensive as the tabletop type, we will presume, and that's why some people play it.
So, as i watched the tournament participants roll over their army-hauling tackleboxes, surely some stolen from a scrapbooking mother or two, i knew that i couldn't possibly risk life and limb to ask a simple question, let alone something as taboo as,"Was your child's college fund enough to cover your officially sanctioned craft supplies?" or, "Was it really a great idea to forgo chemotherapy for a new tank division?" I had to take the big game hunter mentality, watching and waiting, frequently getting up for water and suppressing laughter the best i could at their tiny turf wars for glory.
As the pairings started, i began to notice the use of tanks and other vehicles, and commented on such to my friend. He informed me that this is in the future, where such plastic wonders are powerful and nessisary. When i expressed my desire to bring my own Fisher-Price Little People army to an event such as this, since it's just resting on its laurels at home, my friend informed me that at tournament level, improper paint and unsanctioned figures are not allowed. Sorry, Down-Syndrome Danny, your painting skills are just not up to par for this game. Next time spend the 300 dollars to hire a professional miniature painter.
Now, i have played with miniatures in D&D, and a few other games, but mostly crudely painted or poisonous pewter blobs with names like championship racehorses, but that was nothing compared to the figures that graced the spraypainted plywood that day. Strange species with guns the size of anime swords marched stiffly and accurately towards groups that appear to occasionally mock a racial group or two. Big-lipped Orks (with a K) pulled their 9's and GAT's on waves of genetically modified humanoids who, according to the internet, will occasionally eat the brains of their enemies to gain their memories. Tanks emblazoned with blood-colored smears and tribal insignia were inched foreward, their controllers always with tape measure in hand to be sure that the opponent didn't take an extra millimeter.
At one point, a girl walked by, and the already silent group of men became even more silent....who am i kidding, they didn't even see her, so dedicated to their conquest were they. Mr. War Gamer From Way Back, in his high-slung docker casual shorts, tape measure holster at the waist, and +1 Wrist Braces of Awesome took on Johnny Newbie, obviously someone who had purchased with his parents loot a preconstructed army on Ebay. It was an epic battle that, though i imagine it ending with one person crying in the corner, i was unable to stay until the end of, which might have lasted days.
In my mind, they all had Cake's The Distance playing in their heads, and the silence was such that i wanted to pull up the battle sounds from Starship Troopers on my netbook just to see who would revel and who would scowl...
Around the time i got really bored and walked away, i realized something: for them it's more than a game, it's an investment in slow, turn-based ass-kicking and nitpickery that any old school general would be proud of, if they could only stop rolling over in their graves for a moment. This has been a public service announcement from the Society for Cheap-Ass Game Advocates, join us next time for an indepth look at the brutal underground world of Extreme Cup-And-Ball players.
Racconcityangel 06:43, September 30, 2010 (UTC)